Disease resistance, mating preference achieved from modified to wild mosquitoes
NIAID-funded researchers at Johns Hopkins University have engineered genetically modified (GM) Anopheles mosquitoes to suppress human malaria-causing parasites. The GM mosquitoes preferred to mate with wild mosquitoes and passed along the desired protection to many generations. The study suggests that GM mosquitoes can compete in nature with wild populations and spread disease resistance. If implemented, this strategy could eventually result in decreased disease in humans. More research is needed to determine if what investigators observed in the laboratory also will occur under natural conditions.